A WASH Student Ambassador at San Juan Mirador
Last time we checked in at San Juan Mirador School, a small, Kaqchikel-speaking community outside of San Lucas Toliman, we were in the very beginning stage of breaking ground on new WASH (Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene) facilities. The bathrooms at San Juan Mirador were in such poor conditions that students were at high risk of getting sick and missing school.
Thanks to a partnership with the students at Trailside Middle School in Ashburn, VA, and support from donors like you, construction is well underway. During this first phase, Pueblo a Pueblo is building four latrines, two handwashing stations with four faucets, and a urinal. The WASH facilities are set to be completed by early August, which means the teachers and 222 students at San Juan Mirador will soon have access to new clean bathrooms!
Meanwhile, we’ve moved forward with our second round of training for WASH student ambassadors. During this training, the WASH student ambassadors at San Juan Mirador learned how personal hygiene affects self-esteem and academic productivity. Teachers and students were divided into two groups. They then analyzed short stories explaining how poor hygiene habits, like not washing your hands or not bathing, can cause sickness. The stories showed that when students get sick often, they miss more school, harming their academic development and self-esteem.
WASH student ambassadors also learned how to create good personal hygiene routines. For example, students should always wash fruits and vegetables before eating them, and they should boil tap water before drinking it. With this knowledge in hand, WASH ambassadors can encourage their peers to follow these healthy habits as well!
WASH Project Coordinator Tomas Mendoza notes that it is “very important to have a group of student ambassadors learn healthy habits, so they can be change-makers for a healthier school environment and improve the overall personal hygiene of their peers.”
Now that they are equipped with personal hygiene and sanitation knowledge and the soon-to-be finished WASH facilities, students and teachers at San Juan Mirador are on their way to healthier and more productive school days!
Students and teachers during the second training
Pre-construction, bathrooms are in poor condition
Digging wells for septic tanks
Construction in progress for new, clean bathrooms!